William Randolph Hearst didn’t like East Coast society very much. But he sure liked to go to New York and buy tapestries, statues, icons, frescoes, and the like to haul back to the hilltop above San Simeon, Calif., where he commissioned Ecole des Beaux-Arts alum Julia Morgan to design La Cuesta Encantata, or “Enchanted Hill,” better known as Hearst Castle. The estate, built between the ’20s and ’40s, had 165 rooms on 250,000 acres, and author Victoria Kastner has seen just about all of each. Kastner, an architectural historian, has worked on the staff of Hearst Castle since 1979, and with photographer Victoria Garagliano, she has just published the opulent Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House, which assembles all the secrets and scuttlebutt about the property between two images of the Neptune Pool that will have you reaching for your swim goggles. Kastner details the Hearst-Morgan collaboration and signs copies of her book at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $14. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Bradford McKee)